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50 MORE Wild Motorcycle Tales - An Excerpt from a Book by Walter F. Kern

By Walter F. Kern

My Sixth Motorcycle Book has been Released in Paperback and Kindle Editions

Here is an Excerpt:

39. Birds of a Feather

In 1981, I had just been discharged from the Air Force. I had no job and no car, so my dad allowed me to use his 1973 Honda 350 to ride around town so I could look for a job.

One day, tired of job hunting, I decided to take a ride out on the country roads and enjoy the day. I came upon a nice long straight stretch of road and decided to see what that little 350 could do.

After about a mile at full throttle, the bike was running about 80 mph which was all that Honda had. All of a sudden, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. Something hit me.

Before I knew what was happening, I was trying to hold onto the handlebar grips with all of my strength. I finally got the bike stopped and got my breath back. I then turned around to go back and see what hit me.

As I got to the spot where this happened, I saw a Robin lying on the side of the road. It seems that I hit this poor bird at about 80 mph, and it knocked the wind out of me. It almost knocked me right off the bike.

I have now been riding for almost 30 years, and have never heard of this happening to anyone else. Have you ever been hit by a bird while riding?

—Steve Hurst


After reading the story about the guy hitting a Robin, I can relate.

I had just got my first motorcycle, a 1979 Yamaha XS650 Special II. It was a great deal and came with a Slipstream fairing—the kind with the legs to deflect air from your legs. I had just got on the super slab and was accelerating to about 70 mph.

Up ahead, I saw a small flock of birds that had just landed in the breakdown lane. The noise of my bike must have spooked them, because as I drew near, they all took off, heading away from the road—well, not all.

I watched in surreal fascination as one of the big grackles suddenly turned and swooped back in a long, elliptical curve and smashed directly into the right leg of my fairing.

The bike gave a mighty jerk to the right, but I held on as the bird and part of the fairing smacked my knee and slid along my thigh. As both were passing, I reached out and grabbed a chunk of the fairing. I immediately pulled over to get my composure back. There I stood on the side of I-89, feathers stuck to my ripped pants and bleeding leg, with cagers staring wide-eyed at the spectacle.

I glued that windshield leg back on and thanked my lucky stars it wasn't a wild turkey!


Check out 50 MORE Wild Motorcycle Tales on Amazon by clicking the book cover, above.

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